Kate O'Branch (MacEdward Leach)

See also: Kate Of Branch (MacEdward Leach)

Ye feeling-hearted Christians,
hold on and console with me,
Till these few feeling verses
I am going to tell to thee,
Concerning of the Kate O' Branch
that lately was run down,
All by an English man-o'-war
bound down to St John's town.

The fourteenth day of July,
as you may understand,
This boat lay at an anchor
about eight miles from the land;
And as they lay in their virgin beds,
making their silent sleep,
'Twas little they thought before the light
they'd be slumbered in the deep.

It being a short time after
the news reached Salmonier,
Among the friends and parents
came loving sisters dear,
To hear his darling mother
as she cried aloud and said,
"My darling son,
you're cut down in your bed."

It being a short time that
these poor boys were drowned,
Mick coming from Broad Cove,
young William Daley found;
He brought him to St Mary's,
rolled up in a sail,
If your heart was of marble,
it's for him that you would feel.

Here's adieu to the St Mary's men,
they are real true blue,
They gave him a shroud and a coffin,
what more could they do?
A boat and a crew to bring him home
all on the very next day,
And had him wait there with his friends
to be buried in the clay.

'Twas early the next morning,
his boat reached Salmonier,
With colors flying half-mast,
the morning it being clear;
The people all assembled
to welcome this poor b'y,
And hear his tender mother,
how bitterly she did cry.

We took him to his father's house
and waked him there till light,
I hope that ye will pray for him,
morning noon and night;
All up ye good Christians,
it is for him you'll pray,
And in the hands of our blessed Lord
that died on Calvary.

####.... Maurice Daley [ca.1830-1922] of St Mary's, NL ....####

Collected in 1950 from Michael (Mike) A Kent [1904-1997] of Cape Broyle, NL, and published in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada, ©2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).

A variant was collected in 1951 from F Leonard (Leo) Molloy [1903-1989] of St Shott's NL, and published as Kate Of Branch in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada, ©2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).

According to a 1951 recording by MacEdward Leach of Mrs Alphonsus (Elizabeth) Ryan [1884-1971] of St Catherine's, NL, Maurice Daley wrote this song with help from the first priest to settle in St Catherine's, Father Ryan from St John's. Mrs Ryan was a relative of Father Ryan, and she recalled this event occurred sometime around 1850. She also confirmed William Daley as one of the victims of this tragedy.

A variant was collected in 1977 by Genevieve Lehr and Anita Best from Linda Slade of St John's, NL, and published as #64, The Kate From Branch in Come And I Will Sing You: A Newfoundland Songbook, pp.112-113, edited by Genevieve Lehr (University of Toronto Press, ©1985/2003).

Genevieve Lehr noted that Linda Slade's variant was a composite version of the song Linda Slade learned from the late Mack Masters of Arnold's Cove, and also from Pius Power, Jr [1944-1996] of South East Bight, NL, who learned the song from his grandfather, Mr Billy.


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